It’s not many, if any, motorbike racers who get the opportunity to talk about themselves in one of the world’s great newspapers, The Sunday Times. Or, perhaps more surprisingly to describe Cal Crutchlow as the rider he learnt most from. But Aussie Jack Miller does both in an entertaining column revealing his worst hangover, his love for fishing and his choice of The GOAT.
Born in Townsville, north eastern Queensland, the 25 year old Ducati rider and his older brother Fergus were introduced to bikes at an early age by father Peter.
“I was good straight away. My father never stopped me riding every single day from sun up to sun down, mostly on dirt. A coach? I didn’t have one. What really did it for me was going to the races where I watched and studied the older blokes.
“My childhood hero? Ricky Carmichael, he’s the best and most spectacular motocross rider. No wonder they nick-named him THE GOAT (the greatest of all time).”
Miller was brought up on dirt, winning the Australian 65cc championship when he was eight years old with several others to follow. His move to road racing and inevitably to Europe, winning the German 125 championship in 2011 followed by a works ride in Moto3 with Italian team Caretta.
MotoGP followed: “Being on the podium in front of all those fans after you’ve ridden the best bikes against the best riders. That’s what I dreamed of after chasing after Fergus.”
Answering The Sunday Times' question ‘The hangover to end all hangovers’ Miller replies: ”2016 after I’d won the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen. It was a big night. The next morning was tricky though. That’s all I’m saying. I do enjoy a good time.”
His favourite and least favourite circuits are Austin and Argentina in that order and his toughest opponent Marc Marquez. No surprise there. But the question who did he learn most from brought the following:
“Cal Crutchlow. He taught me so much about being a professional athlete and about how to prepare the mind and the body. He’s got an amazing work ethic and he sparks it off in others, not least myself.”
Although seen as a bit of an Aussie hell-raiser his favourite pastime is fishing: “The peace and quiet is such a contrast to what I do in my job “ and his advice to other sportsmen/women is: “Never stop learning; never be content where you are; always try to better yourself; never forget there’s always someone trying to catch you. And never, ever get too confident.”
A few years ago his advice was ‘When in doubt, flat out’ and ‘First on the throttle, last on the brakes.’ The latest addition to the Ducati works team has matured. Following in the wheel tracks of Aussie greats Casey Stoner and Troy Bayliss and succeeding is a big ask but he and French boy wonder Fabio Quartararo are the two most likely to topple Marquez.